December 19, 2017 Read More →

BHP, Biggest Miner, Is Quitting Global Coal Lobby

New York Times:

One of the world’s largest coal companies, acknowledging the growing momentum toward addressing climate change, said it planned to pull out of a major industry group over its environmental stances.

B.H.P. Billiton, the British-Australian mining company, said in a report Tuesday that it planned to withdraw from the World Coal Association, an international lobbying group, because of differences in climate and energy policies. The report also noted that B.H.P. would review its relationship with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in light of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The move highlights the delicate considerations huge mining companies must contend with as they seek to balance profit with social and environmental awareness.

It represents the latest example of a business that is largely built around traditional fossil fuels responding to investor and government concern over climate change. Last week, the oil and gas giant BP said it would spend $200 million to acquire a large stake in a solar power developer, while Norway’s Statoil and France’s Total have also made investments in renewables.

The company also announced that it would review its relationship with the Minerals Council of Australia, the country’s foremost mining lobbying group.

Groups supporting ethical investing praised B.H.P.’s report.

“This is a message that even organizations, like B.H.P., with large coal assets, do not value aggressive anti-climate lobbying,” Brynn O’Brien, executive director of the Australasian Center for Corporate Responsibility, said.

More: B.H.P. Billiton, Acknowledging Climate Change, to Quit Coal Group

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